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Swati Maliwal alleged 'assault' row: Who is Bibhav Kumar?

Kejriwal apparently also tasked Bibhav Kumar with duties that included expansion of AAP. Kumar handled the routine developments at the Chief Minister's Office at the Secretariat in Delhi, along with Kejriwal's camp office in his residence.
Last Updated : 20 May 2024, 12:14 IST
Last Updated : 20 May 2024, 12:14 IST

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Bibhav Kumar, the close aide of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who stands accused of assaulting the party's Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal inside Kejriwal's residence, initially worked with Kabir— an NGO run by former deputy CM of Delhi Manish Sisodia. While Kumar was hired as Kejriwal's private secretary on a co-terminus basis in 2015, Kumar's connections with Sisodia and Kejriwal date back to before 2000.

A Delhi court on Sunday sent Kumar to five days in police custody. Police arrived at Kejriwal's residence from where he was arrested. Maliwal on May 13 alleged that Kumar "assaulted' her at the chief minister's official residence.

How is Kumar associated with Sisodia and Kejriwal?

Bibhav Kumar worked for Sisodia's NGO— Kabir way before the India Against Corruption (IAC) movement that ultimately led to the formation of AAP. As per a report in the Indian Express, Kumar is said to have been a coordinator in the past for Kejriwal's NGO Public Cause Research Foundation (PCRF), where Swati Maliwal also worked.

Being a close aide of Sisodia, Kumar first came in contact with Kejriwal before 2012— when AAP was formed. Sources in the party were quoted in the IE report saying that Kumar had more or less become the Delhi CM's "shadow".

Given that Kejriwal is a diabetic— Kumar was tasked with administering insulin doses to the Delhi CM at his residence. From attending phone calls to updating the AAP supremo with routine updates, Kumar is largely seen as Kejriwal's manager who handles both the latter's personal and political communications.

Kejriwal apparently also tasked Bibhav Kumar with duties that included expansion of AAP. Kumar handled the routine developments at the Chief Minister's Office at the Secretariat in Delhi, along with Kejriwal's camp office in his residence.'

A report in FirstPost said that Kumar is also called “Kejriwal’s Man Friday” owing to the role he plays in the life of Kejriwal pertaining to the latter's food and medicine. It is said that Kumar was prompt in addressing an issue that Kejriwal face while travelling to Punjab in 2014 for Lok Sabha polls. Kejrwal had suffered a severe toothache after which Kumar ensured that the former had his meals and medicines on time.

Kumar also stands named in an assault case from 2007 where he has been accused of using "criminal force to obstruct a public servant from doing his duty”.

Moreover, Kumar is one of the many suspects on the list of Enforcement Directorate in the alleged Delhi excise policy case. The Directorate of Vigilance in April 2024 terminated Kumar's services as Kejriwal's personal assistant following the investigation in the excise case.

Bibhav Kumar however filed an OA (original application) with the Central Administrative Tribunal seeking cancellation of the termination, but the Tribunal refused stating that "granting such a relied would be premature".

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Published 20 May 2024, 12:14 IST

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